Parenting difficult teenagers has become a silent epidemic — more parents are experiencing family conflict behind closed doors than are willing to admit.
Whether your teen is isolating themselves in their bedroom or not adhering to your family rules or curfews, the tension can be frustrating and lead to conflict and even property destruction.
Are you facing:
-Defiance, anger, rage (especially if you remove or threaten to remove their phone)?
-Backtalk, attitude, entitlement?
-Does your teen ignore you when you speak to them?
-Are they disrespectful to you and others in the home?
-Do they become aggressive for no reason over little things?
-Do they seem sad, anxious or withdrawn?
Reality is, conflict is a normal part of family life, however can escalate during the teenage years. There are times when family conflict goes beyond normal, when you are in fear of your safety or the safety of others in the home — or your teen is self-destructive. This is when you need to seek outside professional resources.
3 Ways to Avoid Family Conflict with Your Teenager
1. Communication. It’s sounds cliché but it’s key to having a peaceful family life. The truth is, raising teenagers is not easy, and communicating with them can be more of a struggle, but you can do it. Short chats will build strong relationships.
Don’t just talk when you need to or when there’s trouble, make it a point to always find something to chat about. It’s important not to focus (or as a teen would view it) nag about school grades, but talk about their interests. Possibly sports, movies, a favorite series or books — keep it light but engaging.
Building a bond with your teenager can help you when you hit those rough patches.
2. Resolve negativity immediately. If something your teen is doing is annoying you, don’t allow it to linger and fester. Parents will continue to say it’s typical teenage behavior — until it explodes into a family battleground. Letting your tensions build up will ruin the relationship. It’s better to sit down calmly and explain why you don’t agree with the certain behavior.
By having a family discussion everyone can hear each other’s opinion on the situation and maybe you can come to a resolution that makes the entire family happy — or teen has a better understanding of why it’s in their best interest to change this behavior.
3. Empathy. We’re living in a world full of conflict and some would say — hate. Teenagers live the majority of their lives online. Social media can be filled with contentious content, which makes it more crucial for parents to have a home that is empathic and compassionate to the family unit.
When you get angry with your teen, whether they forgot to do their chores (clean their room, empty the dishwasher), remember to talk to them withhold criticism and judgement. You will get further by listening to them, although they may or may not have a legitimate excuse, you will be able to communicate better with your teen.
The experts also point out that parents need to understand that a good parent-child relationship, which isn’t easy to maintain, requires mutual understanding between parent and child. If you feel that the tension in your home has escalated beyond your control, don’t hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals.
If you’ve exhausted your local resources for family conflict, contact us for a free consultation about the right therapeutic boarding school for your teen and family.